Land Rover looks to the future

* Brand evaluation * Cars will be 'more premium' * Focus on green values...

Land Rover looks to the future

Future Land Rovers may not have the go-anywhere capability of current models, according to company insiders.

Some future Land Rovers and Range Rovers could even have selectable rather than permanent four-wheel drive, as the company seeks to make its products more relevant to an environmentally aware consumer.

Land Rover to 'evaluate' its current 'go-anywhere' culture
Murray Dietsch, the company's director of programmes, says Land Rover is considering all options in its efforts to improve sustainability.

'Something like the Discovery must always have total go-anywhere capability, but when we look at the next generation of some of our other products we have to ask ourselves whether that's the case,' he said.

'I'm not saying we will change, but it's an evaluation process we're going through.'

More environmentally friendly vehicles planned
Updated versions of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery are now on sale with a softer, more premium look and feel. They also have improved environmental credentials that disguise a welter of engineering changes that make the vehicles even more competent on all roads.

In 2011, Land Rover will introduce a baby Range Rover based on the company's LRX concept car, complete with a hybrid diesel-electric powertrain.

Design director Gerry McGovern says the LRX defines Land Rover's new strategy, which is based on a fresh approach to functionality, sustainability and public perception. 'We are selling an adventure; a dream. Future Land Rovers will be much more premium,' he says.

'The world is changing and we have to ask ourselves how appropriate our design language is for the future,' he adds.

'Conspicuous consumption is now frowned upon, which means we are looking at all aspects of weight, aerodynamics and the materials we use. In future our cars must be robust, not aggressive, but it will take a new generation to optimise this strategy.'